The general/company store….

Today, my blog post is on the Hitop general store. Although every mining town and area had a company store, the store in Hitop is more like Ike Godsey’s general merchandise on the 70’s TV series The Walton’s.

The store in Hitop much like Ike’s store is a gathering place to buy food, hardware, clothing, tools, a place to pick up mail, and a place to pick up news and gossip. Or, a place to come in, chew the fat over some coffee and a game of checkers. In my travels I have visited several general stores such as these examples, and they’re truly a piece of Americana.

The Hitop store of course is a beautiful Blair Line kit, shown here with the proprietor out front talking to local housewife Lois, surrounded by details such as the old pop or soda machine, ice machine, cans of Texaco motor oil, a table on saw horses holding boxes of fresh produce, and the mail box out front. Those old enough to remember will also recognize the S&H green stamps sign on the side of the store. A kit and details that hopefully captures a feeling of rural West Virginia….

2 thoughts on “The general/company store….

  1. Merry Christmas Steve:

    As a reply to this post, I thought you’d like to see this picture. This is Kennedy’s store, located on the Clinchfield Railroad just south of Clinchco. My post from 4 years when the 75th Clinchfield (CSX) Santa Train ran described the store as follows. I actually think the store is open during the tourist season as I saw merchandise inside it on a trip up there this year the day before the 79th train would have run (Covid has kept the train at home the past 2 years, the gifts that are collected well in advance of the train were distributed at four Food City grocery stores along the train’s route. I can imagine this store being everything your store on the railroad portrays. Well done.

    Elisa & I plan to be in Greeley, CO next July and then hit several tourist railroads enroute to Durango & Silverton. If I remember correctly, you’re in Colorado, aren’t you. If so, what part? If enroute, I would love to see this railroad in person.

    This is south of Clinchco, VA. It’s Kennedy’s General Store, and the railroad comes at us to the right. We stopped here on Friday to get a picture on a bridge that in earlier years ran over VA 80 before it was relocated. While we were there, one of the Kennedy brothers came down to see what was going on, I showed him some of the pictures of what he was about to see and he was interested. We talked about his store (now closed), his dad & uncles bought the place in ’46 after coming home from the war, it had been a PIggly Wiggly in earlier years. Their sons took it over in later years and kept it going to the end. If you study railroad history, you soon realize the people along the line, whether associated with the railroad or not, are part of that history.

    Wayne Jenkins Hermitage, TN 37076 (615) 400-5839



    1. Hi Wayne, and Merry Christmas to you as well! Very cool story, but I couldn’t see the photo. If you would, send it to the contact email on the website.
      I’m in Parker, Colorado, which is a town on the southeast edge of the Denver metro area. Would love to meet you both and show you the layout!


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